Bruins regular season schedule to be released Thursday

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Bruins regular season schedule to be released Thursday

LAS VEGAS, NV Those Bruins fans looking to start planning their season plans for attending games involving the Black and Gold will get their chance on Thursday.

The NHL will release their full schedule of games at the end of the week prior to the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh after the club announced today that their exhibition schedule opens on Sept. 25 against the Washington Capitals.

Interestingly the Bruins will also play a pair of exhibition games against the Winnipeg Jets in Saskatoon and Winnipeg, but thats separate from the NHL regular season everyone hopes isnt affected by pending CBA negotiations this summer.

Thats the goal were shooting for, said Bettman. We traditionally try to release it prior to the draft.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the schedule would be out at the end of the week, and also that the star-crossed Coyotes franchise will still remain in Phoenix when the schedule does come out. That doesnt lock them in for the season in Glendale, but Bettman said thats the expectation from the league.

The Coyotes have been scheduled to play in Phoenix. Our hope and expectation is that all of the efforts that have been worked on and continue to be worked on will come to fruition, said Bettman. Its my anticipation and expectation that the Coyotes will play in Phoenix.

Another anticipation and expectation is that the Bruins will play all 82 games theyre scheduled for once it's released on Thursday, but that will be up to Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr once they commence CBA talks in the not too distant future according to the commissioner.

Julien reaches breaking point with struggling, inconsistent Bruins

Julien reaches breaking point with struggling, inconsistent Bruins

It sounds like Claude Julien has reached a breaking point with a fragile, inconsistent group of Bruins players who have lost four games in a row at a critical point in the season.

The Bruins dropped a 5-1 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday afternoon, and completely fell apart in the final period after Tuukka Rask was lifted because of migraine issues in the middle of the game. It was a typical Bruins effort, in which there weren’t enough scoring chances despite 45 shots on net -- largely from the perimeter -- and the defense totally unraveled in the third period once the Penguins got their offense going.

After the loss, the embattled Julien challenged his players, saying they weren’t providing enough across the board . . . which has largely been the case for the last two months as the Bruins have stagnated as a team.

“If you look at some of the mistakes we made, it’s a team that just got unraveled there in the third period,” he told reporters after the game. “With the opportunities that we had, we don’t capitalize on them. You always give the goaltender on the other side some (Matt Murray) credit. He was good tonight but at the same time, if you’re going to win hockey games, you’ve got to find ways to get [shots] through to him.

"It’s frustrating. There are a lot of guys that, right now, aren’t giving us enough, and this is a team that I think needs all 20 guys going in order to win. We don’t have enough talent to think that we can get away with a mediocre game, so this is where it’s important for our guys to understand that and it’s important to have 20 guys that want to go. It’s okay to have talent, but you’ve got to compete. For others, you’ve got to get involved. You’ve got to be willing to do the things that are not fun to do but are going to help your hockey club. It’s too bad because I think the players we expect a lot out of every night are certainly battling every night, but we need more than that . . .

“When you’ve lost three, now four in a row, it sets in. We’ve got to find a way to turn this around and start going back to the drawing board with our guys respecting what they need to do and be patient enough to give it time to turn around. When I say patience I don’t mean we need to do it in the next week. We need to do it next game but we need to respect what we’ve done well and when we’re in our game and within our structure we’ve had success but in order to be within the structure, you’ve got to be willing to want to do those things. Right now, we don’t have everybody and it just takes one guy not to want to do his job and it throws everybody else off. We have to look at personnel that way, and say that if we need to replace some guys, and we need to be patient with others, I want guys that care and want guys that want to come in and give it their all every night. We need more of that, and we don’t have enough right now.”

It remains to be seen what, or who, Julien is referring to when he mentioned personnel during his postgame comments, but it’s clear he's well aware the effort hasn’t been consistently good enough over the last two months.
 
The Bruins have dropped to third in the Atlantic Division, with the Maple Leafs just a point behind them while holding a whopping six games in hand. Even struggling teams like the Panthers, Lightning and Hurricanes have caught up to the B’s in the playoff race, while holding games in hand.

The B’s are in big, big trouble at this point in the season, and it doesn’t get any easier with games against an improving Red Wings club and the dominant Penguins prior to a much-needed break recess for the All-Star break.